Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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ECHAVE, Baltasar de (aychah'vay), SpanishMexican artist, born in Zumaya, Guipuzcoa, Spain, in the latter part of the 16th century; died in Mexico about the middle of the 17th century. He is generally called Echave the elder, as there was another painter of the same name, supposed to have been his son. He came, when very young, to the New World, and, although he had probably begun his artistic studies in Spain, he finished them in Mexico. In the "Profesa" Church of Mexico there are several excellent paintings of his, including "Saint Isabel• of Portugal," but his best paintings are in the National academy of San Carlos. Among these last, which recall the manner of Guercino, are "The Visitation," "The Adoration of the Three Magicians," and the "Adoration in the Garden."
Some artists to the best productions of Overbeck, especially as regards correct composition, have compared the latter. In Santiago Tlaltelolco there were fifteen altar panels on wood by him, dated 1608, some of them very good, but far inferior to those at the Profesa. He also painted some smaller pictures, the best representing the conversation of Saint Antonio Abad with Saint Paul, the first hermit, which, besides the merits of the larger paintings, has an extraordinary delicacy of execution. All his works are more notable for correctness of design than for richness of color, but generally his later works, painted in 1620'30, are far superior to his earlier pictures, dated from 1603 to 1619. Echave was also notable as a philologist and author. His best known work is a treatise on the origin of the Biscayan language, "Antigiiedad de la lengua de Cantabria," which has been favorably noticed by the learned Larrumendi and Astarloa (Mexico,, 1607).
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